Deltan Dallagnol's messages

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By PIERPAOLO CRUZ BOTTINI*

These are impressive dialogues, revealing the behind-the-scenes of an operation that presented itself as the vanguard of a heroic fight against corruption.

Deliberately long reports, lack of evidence concealed by Slogans to the media, leaking information, using public functions to persecute opponents. These are the ingredients of Deltan Dallagnol's conversations with other prosecutors in the “lava jet” operation, published in a report by the magazine Piaui Of this month.

These are impressive dialogues, revealing the behind-the-scenes of an operation that presented itself as the vanguard of a heroic fight against corruption. They shock the layman, but, unfortunately, they do not represent anything new for those who work in the criminal field, who are faced daily with practices beyond excuses in the name of combating crime.

The first of these is the long and tedious description of the criminal conduct in the complaint. To narrate the facts, many indictments are prolix and repetitive, with a flurry of transcriptions and quotations, which could be summarized in a few paragraphs. In the case of the complaint against Lula, regarding the triplex, a prosecutor even warned Deltan Dallagnol that “he would reduce it by half, what was not told in thirty sheets, or at most in fifty, does not deserve to be told”. It was not heard. The complaint was presented with 149 pages.

Huge allegations are nothing new in the world of criminal proceedings. This is not just bad writing, but a deliberate act of attaching the largest number of adjectives and adverbs to the narrated acts, with the aim of confusing the judge and public opinion. How to reject a complaint with hundreds of pages with such strong expressions, and so many documents attached, without appearing irresponsible in the eyes of the population?

Gilmar Mendes highlights the problems of exaggerated reports,

“which fragment the analysis, making it difficult to specifically identify each alleged conduct (…) which, under the argument of describing the context, confused the set of acts supporting the criminal action, with purposes not always compatible with the objective good faith required of the procedural agents” (STF, Mendes vote in the files of RE 1.384.414).

Even though it is a repetitive text, which could be presented in a few paragraphs, even though the annexes pile up social contracts, bank transactions and telephone data, which when squeezed together would result in a few pages of relevant information, the whole thing scares the judge, drives the opening of the process, and the most accurate analysis of the facts is planned for the following years.

It is not uncommon, after a long period of ordeal for the defendants, to realize the emptiness of the accusations, the nothingness beneath the slogans, and an acquittal is decided. Late news, reported at the bottom of pages, in the footers of articles, in the latest sections of newspapers, is not capable of restoring destroyed careers, worn-out images and redeeming lost health and lives.

Another common phenomenon, revealed by the messages, is the deliberate concealment of the lack of evidence with marketing strategies. In the absence of clear evidence of illicit acts, the drum is beaten with repetitive mantras, as if press releases and interviews could take the place of documents, witnesses or reports.

Arguments are replaced by communication strategies, oral arguments by press conferences, legal theses by powerpoint.

In the “lava jet”, messages point out that flaws in the complaint against Lula, such as the difficulty in proving knowledge of the criminal origin of the values ​​on the part of contractors, and the existence of “lame” theses, were hidden by judicial marketing tactics, by distribution of releasing to the press to “define the first headlines”: “He is the one who will set the tone and guide the press right away”, said Deltan Dallagnol.

Emile Zola, under the pretext of unfounded accusations against Dreyfuss, in France at the end of the 19th century, pointed out that it was “a crime to deceive opinion, to use it for a deadly task, perverting it until it becomes delusional”.

This perversion and delirium was the subject of articles, headlines and magazine covers in Brazil a few years ago. Instead of facts, versions, instead of proof, expressions of impact, instead of names, nicknames with media repercussion, instead of consistency, haste in the spotlight.

Finally, the messages reveal that selective leaks of confidential information accompanied the “car wash”. Public agents, to whom the solemn task of keeping sensitive data secret was delegated, methodically organized its distribution to press organizations, to weaken enemies and strengthen their corporate positions.

There are messages about “releasing the rotten” and “striking terror” against enemies in the Federal Police, “slowly burning” people and acts contrary to the interests of the task force members, and about ways to force collaboration through the disclosure of data in judicial secrecy.

“My leaks always aim to make people think that investigations are inevitable and to encourage collaboration (sic).” Words by Deltan Dallagnol. This is not a phrase you would expect from a law enforcer, from someone who, upon taking office, solemnly promised to respect the Constitution.

The farmer cannot negotiate with foxes for the distribution of the chickens he swore to protect. Much less in the name of fighting corruption and God.

By the way, many of the actions appear to have been done in the name of God. “I see God acting in this case from the beginning”, “I believe that God wants the church to leverage this change”, stated Deltan Dallagnol.

I don't believe that the Creator granted him any power of attorney, but if he eventually did, he must be quite dissatisfied with the result of the work.

Time and money, which could have been used to gather relevant evidence, identify misappropriation of public resources, and punish businesspeople and politicians involved in corruption, ended up spent on party political projects, individual megalomanias and messianic outbursts.

The infantile disease of vanity hastened poorly constructed accusations, and threw into the trash can works that could have clarified wrongdoings, if handled responsibly and competently.

Carrara stated that “when politics enters the doors of the Temple of Justice, it flees through the window, to escape to heaven”.

In this case, Justice gave in, not without grumbling, and gave space to politics, which took away prosecutors and judges to dance, to the sound of legislative proposals to infuriate legislation, the search for funds and resources for personal promotion, and candidacies.

The “lava jet” mountain, with its drums and motorcades, gave birth to rats. In particular, rats in the political world, in various and relevant positions. The saddest thing, however, is to note that such strategies are not isolated phenomena, exceptions or outliers.

The prolix denunciations, the handling of the press to cover up failures in the accusations, and the selective leakage of confidential data, although not widespread, are repeated practices in forums, offices and street corners, in large and small investigations, throughout the national territory. It is difficult to find lawyers without stories to tell in this regard.

At the end of the messages, Deltan Dallagnol suggests that someone not bother with criticism of “lava jet”, and quotes Churchill when stating that “if we stop to throw stones at every dog ​​that passes along the way, we will not reach our destination”.

Perhaps the dogs were those who barked for respect for the rule of law, disturbing his undaunted path towards political glory. They were thrown with stones, they yelped, but they continued barking. And, in the end, the caravan fell. Its effects are still spreading across the country, but there will be no shortage of dogs barking on every corner, bothering anyone who abuses their functions.

*Pierpaolo Cruz Bottini is a professor in the Department of Criminal Law, Criminology and Forensic Medicine at the Faculty of Law of USP.

Originally published on the portal Counsel.


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